SportsBasketballMilwaukee Bucks

Actions

Jrue and Lauren Holiday lift up Black-led businesses and nonprofits in Milwaukee, other cities

Posted at 5:49 PM, Jul 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-09 08:18:27-04

MILWAUKEE — Jrue Holiday has been an invaluable part of the Milwaukee Bucks' playoff run. But he and his wife, former U.S. Women's Soccer player and two-time Olympic gold medalist, Lauren, are also doing invaluable work in the Milwaukee community.

Last year, the Holidays started the Jrue and Lauren Holiday Social Impact Fund (JLH Fund) when they pledged a portion of Jrue's 2019-2020 NBA salary ($5.3 million) to help support Black-owned businesses and Black-led non-profits.

On the JLH Fund website, Jrue is quoted saying, "starting the JLH Fund is probably my biggest accomplishment to date."

CHASING A CHAMPIONSHIP: MORE COVERAGE:

The fund's first round of grants went out in the fall of 2020, totaling $5 million. Just last week, another round of grantees was announced. The second round of grants totaled $1 million and went to 25 Black-owned businesses and 25 Black-led non-profits in various cities, including 13 in Milwaukee.

Sacha's Veggie Life was one of the businesses to receive a JLH Fund grant.

"When I found out there were 13 food deserts here in Milwaukee alone, I knew I had to do something," CEO Sacha Simmons said. "That really does mean tens of thousands of people have limited access to fresh fruits and vegetables from grocery stores."

Sacha's Veggie Life is still in the start-up phase, but Simmons hopes to be up and running later this year, especially after receiving help from the Holidays.

Simmon's business will be a subscription-based food delivery service focusing on underserved areas and food deserts.

"If you're walking or catching the bus, it means that you're only able to bring back the amount of food that your two hands can carry. If you're a single parent, if you're an elderly person, if you're disabled, that's a problem," Simmons said.

Ultimately, she hopes to be a bridge between people and healthy eating, while also employing people in those same communities.

One of the Milwaukee non-profits chosen by the JLH Fund is STRYV365.

"We are an organization that's built around offering support to at risk youth, as well as offering support and providing training for building positive childhood experiences to partners around the community," said STRYV365 CEO and Founder Brandon Currie.

CHASING A CHAMPIONSHIP: MORE COVERAGE:

The organization teams up with other programs in the Milwaukee area and attaches its curriculum to P.E. classes, after school programs and sports.

Currie said the organization always welcomes support, but receiving a JLH Fund grant is extra special.

"This is probably more exciting for us just because of the Jrue and Lauren's commitment to the community, being a part of Milwaukee now. Them not only providing the financial support, but saying 'hey, we want to work with you,'" Currie said.

JLH Fund grant recipients not only receive financial support, but also training and coaching.

Report a typo or error // Submit a news tip